Influence of Genetic Ancestry on Human Serum Proteome
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Disease risk varies significantly between ethnic groups, however, the clinical significance and implications of these observations are poorly understood. Investigating ethnic differences within the human proteome may shed light on the impact of ancestry on disease risk. We used admixture mapping to explore the impact of genetic ancestry on 237 cardiometabolic biomarkers in 2,216 Latin Americans within the Outcomes Reduction with an Initial Glargine Intervention (ORIGIN) study. We developed a variance component model in order to determine the proportion of variance explained by inter-ancestry differences, and we applied it to the biomarker panel. Multivariable linear regression was used to identify and localize genetic loci affecting biomarker variability between ethnicities. Variance component analysis revealed that 5% of biomarkers were significantly impacted by genetic admixture (p < 0.05/237), including C-peptide, apolipoprotein-E, and intercellular adhesion molecule 1. We also identified 46 regional associations across 40 different biomarkers (p < 1.13 × 10-6). An independent analysis revealed that 34 of these 46 regions were associated at genome-wide significance (p < 5 × 10-8) with their respective biomarker in either Europeans or Latin populations. Additional analyses revealed that an admixture mapping signal associated with increased C-peptide levels was also associated with an increase in diabetes risk (odds ratio [OR] = 6.07 per SD, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.44 to 25.56, p = 0.01) and surrogate measures of insulin resistance. Our results demonstrate the impact of ancestry on biomarker levels, suggesting that some of the observed differences in disease prevalence have a biological basis, and that reference intervals for those biomarkers should be tailored to ancestry. Specifically, our results point to a strong role of ancestry in insulin resistance and diabetes risk.
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